Sacramento City, Ca., c. h. Sacramento co. This town, the second in California, is situated on the E. bank of the Sacramento River, at the junction of the American Fork, on the S. bank of that stream. The Sacramento, which is a fine river, varying from 200 to 300 yards in breadth, its banks fringed with trees, is navigable to this point at all seasons. The distance from San Francisco is about 120 miles. The plan of Sacramento is very simple. The town plot embraces a square of about a mile and a half to the side, on a level plain of great extent, and but slightly elevated above the river. It is laid out in regular right angles, the streets running E. and W., being designated by the letters of the alphabet, and those running N. and S. by the numerals. In April, 1849, there were 4 houses in the place. Within six months it boasted a population, in tents and frame houses, of near 10,000. The original forest trees, still standing in all parts of the town, give it a very picturesque appearance. Many of the streets are lined with oaks and sycamores, six feet in diameter.
Though Sacramento has not suffered, like San Francisco, by fires, the low level of the plain on which it stands has exposed it" to disastrous floods, which have made it necessary to enclose the entire circuit of the city with a levee or dike.
The position of Sacramento makes it the grand depot for the supply of all the northern mines. It is also the point to which the overland emigration is directed. The banks of the river in this vicinity furnish one of the best farming regions in California, though the crops on the low lands are exposed to great ravages from the periodical floods. These advantages of situation are such as to make it certain that Sacramento will maintain its position, as being, next after San Francisco, the first city in the state. It has regular daily steamboat communication with San Francisco.
The gold diggings commence about 30 miles E. from Sacramento, at the entrance of the hills, which rise rapidly to the eastward, till they terminate in the high ridge of the Sierra Nevada. The gold was first discovered on the S. fork of the American River, about 50 miles from Sacramento, and all that neighborhood is still much resorted to by miners.
John Hayward, Gazetteer of the United States of America.... (Philadelphia: James L. Gihon, 1854), 556.